Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alviso in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Water Everywhere

Water Seeks Its Own Level

 
 
Water Everywhere Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
1. Water Everywhere Marker
Inscription. Water in Alviso is a complex issue that touches on the environment, economics, and life safety. Already susceptible to flooding, Alviso’s situation was worsened by regional development. Hard paving, which prevented water absorption into the ground, and increased groundwater pumping caused the water table to drop. As a result, the land subsided, and Alviso dropped 13 feet over the last 100 years. Situated below sea level, it became even more vulnerable to flooding.

More recently, Alviso also experienced the extreme of no water. Suburban and industrial growth and salt pond construction silted in or closed off much of Alviso’s waterways. This drastically altered the amount of water that naturally flushed this wetland area, endangering the region’s environmental health.

The re-channeling of the Guadalupe River and the outflow from the nearby sewage treatment plant have also impacted the level, flow, and quality of water in Alviso.

[Text of Timeline Aerial Photos:]
Development has changed the Alviso area in the fifty-year span of the photographs above. Salt ponds, development, and the resulting siltation have filled in the shoreline and blocked many waterways. To aid flood control, the course of the Guadalupe River has been straightened and channelized.

Aerial photo Above: Courtesy
Timeline Aerial Photos 1951 and 1971 image. Click for full size.
2. Timeline Aerial Photos 1951 and 1971
1951
1. Marina area is part of a salt pond.
2. Slough appears to be clear and open waterway.
3. A small marina exists on the slough.
1971
1. Levee is built and marina is established.
2. Slough appears to be clear and open waterway.
3. Marina on slough is gone.
4. Alviso grows.
of Pacific Aerial Survey.

 
Erected by Santa Clara County Parks and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 37° 25.807′ N, 121° 58.784′ W. Marker is in Alviso, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker is on Hope Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the trail of the Alviso Marina County Park. Marker is in this post office area: Alviso CA 95002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Discover Alviso’s Rich History (within shouting distance of this marker); The Steamboat Jenny Lind Disaster (within shouting distance of this marker); The Port and Town of Alviso (within shouting distance of this marker); Salt Ponds (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Location, Location, Location (about 500 feet away); China Camp (about 700 feet away); Bayside Cannery (about 700 feet away); Union Warehouse and Docks (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alviso.
 
More about this marker. This trail is also part of the San Francisco Bay Trail and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
 
Also see . . .
Timeline Aerial Photos 1981 and 1999 image. Click for full size.
3. Timeline Aerial Photos 1981 and 1999
1981
1. Marina is full and active.
2. Slough is clear and open with many boats along shore.
3. Old marina is filled in.
1999
1. Marina is silted in and no water is apparent.
2. Slough is much narrower.
3. Old marina and slough filled in.
4. Alviso grows.
5. Waterways are less apparent.
 A KTEH TV Production of the DeAnza Trail on YouTube. In this video one learns the history and purpose of the DeAnza Expedition, the heritage of descendants of members of the expedition, and current sites near the Bay Area along the trail. (Submitted on November 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.) 
 
Categories. 20th CenturyEnvironmentWaterways & Vessels
 
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
4. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Alviso flooded in 1958 when the Guadalupe River and Coyote Creek overflowed from heavy rains. Flood controls have decreased such occurrences in recent years.

Photo: Courtesy of Santa Clara Valley Water District
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
5. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
See Photo #6 for details.
Close-Up of Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
6. Close-Up of Photo on Marker
Taken 100 years apart in approximately the same spot, these two photos reveal the impact of ground subsidence. A 1934 survey reported that Alviso was sinking at a rate of one foot per every five years, making the land susceptible to flooding and unsuitable agriculture.

Photos: Courtesy of County of Santa Clara.
San Francisco Bay Trail and Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 5, 2009
7. San Francisco Bay Trail and Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail
This marker is located on the trail leading to the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,140 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   7. submitted on November 12, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
Paid Advertisement